Sunday, April 5, 2009

Coconut Cake

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There's no other way to describe this cake than - WOW. I found this recipe in Family Circle months ago, but given the desire to eat more healthy I've been waiting until I had a breakdown on the diet and could make it. So glad I did. I made this for my family when we got together one weekend and it was an instant hit.

Coconut Cake:

  • 3 C Cake Flour (not self-rising)
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 C Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 C Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Coconut Extract
  • 1 can (13.5 oz) Coconut Milk
  • 1 C Sweetened Coconut (Grated or finely chopped Flakes)


  • 1 pkg (8oz) Cream Cheese, softened
  • 4 Tbsp Unsalted Buttter, softened
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 16oz Confectioner's Sugar
  • 1/2 C Strawberry Preserves
  • 1 1/2 C Sweetened Coconut (Flakes or Shaved)

Heat the oven to 350. Prepare two 8" round cake pans by greasing them and placing wax paper in the bottom, spray the wax paper with cooking spray.


Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix well. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add vanilla and coconut extracts and beat until combined.

Slow the mixer and add the dry ingredients and coconut milk in three additions, alternating between the dry ingredients and coconut milk. Beat well in between each addition. Fold in the coconut and divide between the two cake pans.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wirerack for 15 minutes. Remove from the cake pan and cool completely.


Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add vanilla. On low speed, add the confectioner's sugar and beat until smooth.

Assemble Cake:

Place one cake on the cake plate and spread the Strawberry preserves on the top. Place the other cake on top. Poke three skewers through both layers of cake (to hold the top layer in place while frosting). Spread the frosting on the cake then remove the skewers. Gently press the coconut on the outside of the cake. Refrigerate for 1 hour and serve.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lime Chicken Kabobs & BBQ veggies


So a couple weeks ago I was totally craving some great BBQ food (the weather was warming up back then). I did a quick search but didn't find much that sounded good. That's when I got a little creative. The key lime juice really adds a great lime taste to the chicken, it also makes the chicken very tender while marinating. I had Nellie and Joe's Key Lime Juice in my fridge so I used that as the base for this masterpiece.

Lime Chicken Kabobs

6 T Key Lime Juice

6 T Soy Sauce

6 T Orange Peach Mango frozen juice concentrate

2 tsp minced garlic

Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and marinate for two hours. Put onto skewers and barbeque until cooked thoroughly.

BBQ Veggies


Yellow Squash

Red Onion




Parmesan Cheese (about 1/3 C, but depends on how many veggies you have)
Olive Oil (about 1/4 C, you want to lightly coat all the veggies)
Key Lime Juice (about 2 T, you want to lightly coat all the veggies)
Fresh Cracked Pepper (to taste)
Kosher Salt (to taste)

Cut the veggies into bite-sized pieces and place into a big bowl. Coat lightly with olive oil and key lime juice. Cook on the BBQ in a vegetable basket , adding the tomatoes half-way through. Once cooked, place into your serving bowl and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The best pork roast ever!

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This is absolutely the best way to cook a pork roast. I don't remember where I found the recipe, but my family instantly fell in love with it. The vinegar sounds a little odd, but it makes the roast so tender and really adds an amazing flavor.

The best pork roast ever

4lb Pork Roast

2 cloves Garlic, minced

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/2 tsp Thyme

4 Bay leaves

1/2 - 1 C White Vinegar

Put the roast in a pan with a lid. Poke several holes in the roast with a fork. Spread the garlic over the roast, poke some if it into the holes. Sprinkle the salt, pepper and thyme on top. Slowly pour the vinegar over the roast. You want enough vinegar to come up 1-2 inches on the roast. Put the bay leaves in the vinegar. Roast at 325 for about 30 minutes per pound.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Man Soup

In the summer of 2007 I decided I wanted to lose some weight and went on a low carb diet. Needless to say this caused a pretty big change in my eating habits. 18 months and 50 lbs later I'm glad I did it, but it took a lot of creativity when it came to what to eat. I have collected and created several of my favorite low carb dishes and I will share them over the next several weeks.

One of the best dishes on a cold winter night is Man Soup. I don't remember where I got the inspiration for this soup, but it is pretty tasty. It got its name when I made it for a Super Bowl party with my brothers.

Man Soup

Picture 10.png1 lb Hamburger

1 lb Mild Italian Sausage

1 Onion, sliced

4 oz Pepperoni, sliced in half

1/2 lb Pastrami, sliced thick

1 C Mushrooms, sliced

1 14oz can Olives, sliced

2 Zucchini, sliced

1 14oz can Stewed Tomatoes

3 14oz can Chicken Broth

3 C Water

1/2 tsp dried Basil

2 Bay Leaves

Combine the hamburger, sausage and onion in a soup pot and brown. While browning, leave the hamburger and sausage in bite size pieces. When the meat is almost done cooking add the pastrami and pepperoni. Once the meat is fully cooked and the onion is tender, add the rest of the ingredients. Bring the water almost to a boil and let it simmer until the vegetables are tender.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Eve Dinner

Last year was the first time that I went all out for our Christmas eve dinner and I really enjoyed it. So of course we had a repeat this year. As usual, I always have the desert figured out first; I didn't actually decide on the main course until just a couple days before.Picture 18.png

I was very happy with the way it all turned out, I really out did myself this time. Here's the menu:

Shrimp and Cocktail sauce

Spring Mix salad with Cranberry dressing

Sparkling Raspberry Jell-o

The Best Ever Green Bean Casserole

Dry Rub Baby Back Ribs

Spiced Honey Semifreddo with Dried Fruit and Almonds

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Spiced Honey Semifreddo with Dried Fruit and Almonds

We saw this on Food Network one night and I was dying to make it. Christmas Eve dinner seemed like the right occasion to give a whirl. I loved it! April and everyone else was just okay with it, so I guess it isn't an instant hit with everyone. I'm gonna experiment with this base a little bit, I bet I can find a variation everyone will be all over. Thanks Tyler Florence.Picture 17.png

Spiced Honey Semifreddo with Dried Fruit and Almonds


2 1/2 cups milk
6 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon amaretto liqueur (or almond extract)
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Spiced Honey:

6 figs, fresh or dried, cut into quarters
6 dates, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup water
1 lemon , juiced
1 cinnamon stick
Amaretto cookies, for garnish

Pour the milk into a saucepan and bring just to a boil over medium-high heat.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar until the sugar starts to dissolve and the yolks turn light yellow, about 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in the hot milk, adding it in a thin stream at first so as not to cook the yolks, and then more quickly. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over low heat, without boiling, until the mixture thickly coats the back of a spoon, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and amaretto. Refrigerate until cool (or chill in a water bath).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and toast until golden and fragrant, 7 to 10 minutes.

When the custard is cold, whip the cream to stiff peaks and fold into the custard along with the toasted almonds. Scrape the mixture into a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan, cover and freeze until firm.

Meanwhile, put the figs, dates, honey, water, lemon juice, and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan and set it over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes until the fruit is soft. Let cool slightly, then remove the cinnamon stick.

To serve, dip the bottom of the loaf pan in a bowl of hot water for 5 seconds. Put a platter on top and then invert quickly; lift off the loaf pan. Cut the semifreddo into slices and put the slices on plates. Spoon the spiced honey and dried fruit over and crumble amaretto cookies over the top for crunch.

Dry Rub Baby Back Ribs

We were stumped on what to make as the main dish for our Christmas Eve dinner so we turned to Food Network and Bobby Deen and we weren't disappointed. I was a little rushed so I couldn't let them sit with the spices for 2 hours and I wish I had cooked them a little longer, but they were still amazing.

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Dry Rub Baby Back Ribs
1 tablespoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 pounds baby back ribs, cut into 2-rib portions

In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients except the ribs. Rub spice mixture all over the ribs. Cover and refrigerate ribs for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the ribs in a roasting pan. Bake for 1 to 2 hours, until meat easily pulls off the bones.